Case: REIT performance was up, but lagging the greater equity markets.

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WASHINGTON, DC-January REIT returns are in and they’re, well, ok. Still up but lagging behind the broader equity markets.

According to locally based NAREIT, even while trust’s grow their footprint globally, they held their own in terms of performance on the home front. On a total return basis, reports Brad Case, NAREIT’s SVP of research, the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index gained 4.28% in January and the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index gained 3.66%. This compares with the S&P’s 5.18% gain.

But while trusts didn’t overshadow the broader markets, virtually all of the sectors represented by the sector had gains. All that is, except apartments. The top-performing trusts were focused on infrastructure, with a 28% return.

Meanwhile, Industrial was up 8.95; Timber was up 7.55%; Lodging/Resorts was up 7.39%; and Self Storage was up 6.56%. (Apartments hit a slump at -.63%)

But where the rubber meets the road, returns to income investors, at the end of the month, the market did outstrip the S&P. The All REITs Index was 4.22% and the dividend yield of the All Equity REITs Index was 3.42%.

Mortgage REITs came in at 11.66%, “with Home Financing REITs yielding 12.62%,” says Case. The S&P 500′s dividend yield was 2.19%.